My Baby's Got a Secret (Part 3: Making Baby Formula)

In parts 1 & 2, I explained why (I and many others think) raw milk is healthier than regular, pasteurized milk from conventional dairy cows and why lactose intolerance doesn't have to stop people from enjoying dairy.

I'm not trying to declare a mommy war on people who use regular formula. Like I've said previously, I do use Earth's Best when traveling or when I forget to pick up more raw milk at Kimberton Whole Foods (they have pretty limited hours on weekends). It's my back-up, and anyone with mommy-brain needs a back-up! 

Do I think making fresh formula using this recipe is better? Well of course, or else I wouldn't be doing it. The ingredients, science behind them, and the fact that you know exactly how it's prepared cannot even compare to commercial baby formula.
[Fresh batch in the fridge]
I've heard plenty of people say that making baby formula is reckless. I'm sure it is if you're concocting something on your own (which I'm not). Here's the thing. I trust myself ONE MILLION percent more than I trust food manufacturers. They care about profit, not your baby's health. Similac, Enfamil, and Earth's Best have all had major recalls of their baby formula over the past few years. Melamine contamination and botulism are two of the reasons. Babies die from those things. DIE. Maybe I'm just a paranoid first-time, Mom, but that freaks me out. And frankly, I think it should freak everyone out. To paraphrase my Mom (who convinced me to make Flynn's formula), "People think if it's for sale at the grocery store, it's good for you." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Okay, enough of my ranting, let's get to the good part: Flynn's homemade baby formula!

The raw milk formula recipe first appeared in the book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, by Sally Fallon Morell and Mary G. Enig, PhD. Morell is the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation. And Dr. Enig is kind of a big deal. She's an expert in the field of lipid biochemistry, a licensed nutritionist, a qualified expert witness, a nutrition consultant to individuals, industry and state and federal governments, a contributing editor to a number of scientific publications, the author of over 60 technical papers and presentations, as well as a popular lecturer. The best part? They are both moms who raised their children according to the nutritional principles they pioneered.
[Nutrient-dense oils & supplements]
- Raw Milk (whole raw milk from old-fashioned cows, certified free of disease, that feed on green pasture)
- Filtered Water
- Liquid whey (made from separated whole milk)
- Lactose
- Gelatin
Bifidobacterium infantis (probiotic powder)
- Cream (good quality from grass-fed cows, not ultra-pasteurized)
- Cod liver oil (high-vitamin, fermented)
- Sunflower oil (expeller-expressed)
- Extra virgin olive oil (organic, unfiltered, never heated)
- Coconut oil (organic, extra-virgin)
- Nutritional yeast flakes
- Acerola powder
[Dissolving the gelatin & lactose in filtered water]
[My trusty blender]
So what do each of these ingredients do?

- Milk & water make up the base of the formula.
- Whey assists with the growth of beneficial bacteria in the G.I. tract.
- Lactose, a milk sugar derived from whey, helps make cows milk as rich as breast milk.
- Gelatin binds everything together in baby's stomach and aids with digestion.
- Bifidobacterium infantis contains the "friendly" bacteria most commonly found in infants; it promotes proper digestion and absorption and encourages the formation of antibodies against undesirable bacteria, viruses and allergens.
- Cream is an excellent source of healthy fats, which babies need to thrive.
- Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamins A & D, as well as the essential fatty acids EPA & DHA (also called Omega 3's).
- Sunflower oil is a good source of different fatty acids.
- Extra virgin olive oil is chock full of antioxidants and healthy fats.
- Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiparasitical, and antiviral. It supports good thyroid function, radiant skin and heart health. Coconut oil's medium chain fatty acids are converted by your body into quick energy and not stored as fat. Plus, I think it's naturally sweet taste makes baby's dig this formula!
- Nutritional yeast flakes are very high in B vitamins (1, 2, 6 & 12). It has a tannish color, which is why the formula isn't bright white like powdered formula.
- Acerola powder is derived from the acerola cherry, which is one of nature's highest sources of vitamin C.

The Weston A. Price Foundation has made it even easier to obtain all of these ingredients by teaming up with the Radiant Life Company, who now sells a formula "kit" on their website with every ingredient, except milk, water, whey & cream which you need to buy or make fresh. This company only recommends the highest quality products for this formula. I'm talkin' fancy-ass olive oil that you can't even get at Whole Foods. I ordered a 3-month kit since Flynn still nurses and gets at least half of his daily milk intake from me.
[Bottle & funnel from Ikea]
In addition to the ingredients above, I use the following kitchen utensils:
- Blender
- Small saucepan
- Rubber spatula or whisk
- Measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cup
- Funnel (if your storage container has a narrow opening like mine)

I took a Sharpie & wrote the amount of each ingredient needed on the actual ingredient container itself. That way, I don't need to look at the recipe each time I make it (which is every 2-3 days). I can pull all of my ingredients out and start cookin'. I was SO nervous the first time, because obviously it's important that it be prepared correctly for Flynn's sake. My hands were actually shaking a little bit. But after a few times, it's a cinch.

I won't bore you with the directions. It's a lot of "simmer this" and "measure that" - just like every recipe. If you want to check it out, go here.
[The downside? Extra dishes!]
This homemade formula tends to be a little thick because of the coconut oil and gelatin solidifying in the fridge - totally normal. Just warm it up like you would a regular bottle and it thins out. Flynn took to it right away, and we'll most likely keep making it for him until he reaches age 1. Although I've read that you can switch to plain raw milk once your child is eating a wide variety of solids, Flynn's been taking his time in that department, so we're not in a rush to phase the formula out. We want him to have all this good stuff for as long as possible. He had a minor cold over the winter, but since then, nothing. Even our pediatrician is impressed. (But shh, he doesn't need to know why!)

Obviously, this isn't for everyone. I consider myself a "high-energy" person. I love to be busy and have a hard time sitting still. After Flynn goes to bed, I'm washing diapers, making formula, baking banana bread, cleaning, etc. 

Unless The Bachelorette is on... then, get me to the nearest TV! 
Hometown dates tonight. Team Jef!
What do you guys think of homemade formula? Am I completely nuts?
Leave your comments below :-)

1 comment:

    Homemade formula is certainly worth the extra effort to give your little one the best!
    Great job!!


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